Xin Chào Gastronomads
The Vietnam tour was really wonderful and I do believe I have 15 gastronomads to back that up – they were, to a woman and man, exemplary, harmonious and remained standing in spite of some warm temperatures. As Vietnam is long and skinny it gets hotter as we travel from the North to the South. It was agreeable in Hanoi and Hué then hot in Hoi An and sweaty in Saigon. With the help of gallons of water and beer, we handled it. I have started writing weekly blogs on my website and dedicated two of them to the Vietnam tour so I won't bang on too much here. Suffice to say that street food and inexpensive family restaurants are, hands down, the best eating across the whole country. My next tour to Vietnam is April 2018 and bookings are open!
Due to the popularity of the sold-out North India trip in October this year, I have added another tour from 4 – 14 October – Jaipur, Goa, Kolkata and Darjeeling. The four destinations we visit were chosen for their clear contrast in cuisine – in Rajasthan it is austere desert food mixed with rich Mogul food; in Goa it is a mix of Indian and Portuguese and they eat pork and beef; in Kolkata it is harmonious and extravagant with an English influence and in Darjeeling it is Nepalese influenced with lots of meat and fermented foods. This is a very personal tour of what I love about India – the huge differences in cuisine, culture and geography from state to state. India is ancient, challenging, colourful, emotional, passionate and dangerously addictive. It is also changing and emerging as a financial, artistic, commercial and intellectual powerhouse. You're kind of changed forever after you've been to India. Have a look at the video and my book Hot Pink Spice Saga which tells the story of the tour. Click here for full details and how to book.
Next stop Paris, Uzès and Marrakech in May. I didn't visit Paris last year so am really looking forward to checking out the 'new' Paris. Movement is afoot, they say, floods of new ideas are flowing down the streets and creative locals are infusing the cuisine with energy and whimsicality. I'll be the judge of that and let you know! Looking forward to cooking in my beautiful new kitchen in Uzès then hosting my Marrakech tour in the land of falling pomegranates and crushed rosebuds.